“In the face of a federal administration hellbent on turning back the clock and a state legislature that has refused to take action to protect the thousands of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, endorsing pro-equality candidates in races up and down the ballot has never been more important,” said HRC Pennsylvania State Director Allison VanKuiken. “HRC is on the ground working harder than ever to turn out the vote for state level candidates who will champion equality and defend the rights of every Pennsylvanian.”
In the Pennsylvania State Senate, HRC has endorsed Maria Collett for Senate District 12; Lindsey Williams for Senate District 38; Tarah Probst for Senate District 40; and Kate Muth for Senate District 44. In the Pennsylvania State House, HRC has endorsed Daniel Smith Jr. for House District 12; Perry Warren Jr. for re-election to House District 31; Frank Dermody for re-election to House District 33; Laura (Liz) Hanbidge for House District 61; Wendy Ullman for House District 143; Joseph Webster for House District 150; Sara Johnson Rothman for House District 151; Thomas Murt for re-election to House District 152; Carolyn Comitta for re-election to House District 156; Leanne Krueger-Braneky for re-election to House District 161; Jennifer Omara for House District 165; Kristin Seale for House District 168; Helen Tai for re-election to House District 178; Malcolm Kenyatta for House District 181; and Brian Sims for re-election to House District 182.
Pennsylvania is one of 30 states in the country that lack explicit state-level protections for all LGBTQ people. The bipartisan Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which was first introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2015, would update the state's non-discrimination law to explicitly include protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination at work, in housing, and in public places. With pro-equality majorities in both chambers and a pro-equality governor, this critically important legislation could finally become law.
HRC has also endorsed pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot, including Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Bob Casey and Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Michael Doyle (PA-18), and Conor Lamb (PA-17), and Scott Wallace (PA-01), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) and Susan Wild (PA-07) for Congress.
In Pennsylvania, HRC has identified more than 2.3 million “Equality Voters” -- voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Pennsylvania in the 2018 cycle, and has already put staff and resources on the ground in the state. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.